Couture Lunacy

Exploring Fashion One Thread At A Time


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The Southwestern Top ……… Update

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I put in the sleeves and sewed the side seams up – the top looks gorgeous. I’m hoping I can get a great picture for you tomorrow. The line from the bust, where the top is fitted, to the hem, which is flared – is beautiful and gives this top great shape. I hope to be able to show this well enough in the photo tomorrow.

I’m being told by my photographer son to get as much natural light as I can so the picture will be sharper and it won’t wash out details ……… I will try.

I had a spooky few minutes with this top – learning to use my serger to sew in the sleeves and do the side seams. I am a slow adapter so actually using my serger requires me to jump unknowingly into the project! It’s so silly ——- but I feel accomplished today after getting this much done. Now I just need to finish the edges and hem it and I will use a twin needle for that – I love twin needles!

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The Southwestern Top

While I’ve been mooching around trying to talk myself into actually making something in the sewing room, I finally got the energy to cut something out and start on it. For once I had the right color thread to sew it! That seriously makes a lot of difference.

The pattern I used is a version of

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this one by Marcy Tilton. I’ve made many tops from this pattern and I like it much better with the excess “wings” removed. With the wings on the top seemed too long and bulky in the thigh. I mirrored the side without the excess for drape, cut the pattern to match that non-draped side and then did a full bust adjustment on the top. You can see my explanation of a full bust adjustment here http://wp.me/p3i7tb-P.

Once that FBA was done, I had to “rotate the dart” because I don’t want a dart in a knit fabric that’s going to look odd. I rotated the fullness created by the FBA to the side bottom. This gives a nice shape to the top. It has a drape at the bottom creating a nice line from the bust down. It skims my stomach and hips which are definitely areas I want skimmed!

I love the fabric. I was a bit hesitant about the direction until I notice that most of the stretch is lengthwise so I had to use it in that manner. Had I tried to cut the top crosswise to have the pattern vertical, there wouldn’t have been enough stretch for the top to be comfortable.

So far I’ve done the shoulder seams to which I always add clear elastic and then fold over the seam allowance and topstitch toward the back. After that’s done I can trim the seam to neaten it up.

I cut my neckband two inches wide and sewed it into a circle. Then I did an overcast on the two edges because the fabric rolls a bit and the overcast stops it. On my Bernina this is stitch #31 and I use it a lot.

To step back a bit – the neckband needs to be shorter than the length of the neck, otherwise it won’t snap to the edge and you will get a baggy-looking neckband. Not good. On this top I first tried a band that was 75% of the length of the neck. That was too small for the style. It didn’t suite the nice flowing shirt so I cut another one 90% of the length of the neck and that’s what you see here.

The neckband of this top takes the most OMG panicky breathes while sewing. I mark the band in quarters and place pins in the marks. Then I do the same with the neck line itself. This way I distribute the stretch of the band evenly all around the neck. I have also overcast the neckline partially as a stay-stitching, but mostly because it gives a finished look inside the garment once the neckband is applied.

After stitching the neckband on, and congratulating yourself that you don’t have to take it off, all I do is press the seams down toward the shirt and “stitch in the ditch” created by the original seam. This forces the seam allowances to stay down when wearing and gives a nice finish.

I have only to put in the sleeves, sew the side seams and hem and I have a great top. This is a good three-season top because it is an ITY knit. I shudder at the thought of wearing it in 90 degree weather!

Here’s the pictures so far –

More to come ……… I’m getting new ideas ……… the more I sew, the more I want to sew ………….

I’ll show you the bottom drape once the sides are sewn up ……. you’ll be able to see the line of the top better!


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Beautiful Seam Finishes and a Sheer Shirt

McCall's 6605

McCall’s 6605

 

I’ve wanted to get to this project ever since I finished the “muslin” using the sari silk, which you see here:

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I did totally finish this shirt with a tie at the neck and buttonholes. It fits very well and will be great under a cardigan for winter. The version in red above is slightly longer and has a nice collar. My only issue with this shirt is that I want all of the seams finished so they look great from the inside too. I didn’t have much luck with the Hong Kong seams on the silk as it added too much weight.

I’ve been thinking about doing french seams on the yoke gathers but I think that also will add more bulk than I want. I’m also going to add sleeves to the red version so it will be wearable with or without a sweater. And my fabric is sheer. Not too sheer, but sheer enough to need a nice finish on the inside.

I think I’ve finally figured this out! Whew, sewing involves so much thinking! I am going to line the yoke pieces which will very nicely cover all the seams and the shirt will look fantastic inside and out. I’m going to use a thin weight interfacing for the button band and some nice antique buttons for the front. I think it will be marvelous! Here’s the fabric I plan on using:

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I will, of course, be wearing a navy cami underneath this. Gorgeous, don’t you think?


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May Top Back on the Sewing Machine!

MAY-KNIT-TOP

 

Hopefully I will get completed top pictures up tomorrow. Wow this was harder than I thought it would be. It’s that tricky little seam under the bust – you need GUMBY fingers to get that all neat and nice!

I cut the top out today out of a rayon/viscose that doesn’t roll. The neckband went on perfectly and it is nice and snug so there’s no gaping at all. Then I started on the weird wrap/seam.

First off, the seam allowance is only 1/4 inch. On the next top I’m going to add another 3/8 to the seam allowances to give me more to work with. Although I can’t add it at the weird seam thing, now can I? No.

The seam is gathered and that’s hard to do in a 1/4″ space. Then the horizontal seam which encloses the two wrapped over seams is also hard to get in to do because it’s basically just a hole in the middle of the shirt. Eeeeeek.

Anyway I have managed to get the seam done and the wrap is fine. I just don’t think I’d want to make a lot of these. Too nerve-wracking making sure I’ve not caught anything. A nice plain top with a yoke like the Laura Dress I cut shorter to make a top or another straight tee is more my speed.

I took the weird lycra/nylon out of the garbage. It dawned on me that I may be able to do it on the serger. Of course I still need to gather the under bust seam but I can do that with hand stitches. So we’ll see if that works next!